We broke up but I wonder if we’ve still got a chance
Q. I’m 62, in love with a woman for 10 years. She has three adult children living under her roof, ages 22 to 28, all young men. They’re all contributing financially. I’ve only spent one night at her home in all the years that I’ve known her.
Recently, we broke up, or realistically, I got the boot (even off her Facebook friends’ page) as my career went south and I have a few legal matters to resolve.
This is understandable and I do really feel she should seek a better option. I haven’t seen her for four months! It’s been brutal! Since she apparently doesn’t want anything to do with me (though she emails occasionally), am I a fool hanging on here? Have you a game plan for me? I know what love is and I do love her and really want her happiness to be first and foremost.
A. You’ve already surpassed the odds in a waiting game, with your 10 years of dancing around a romance that never became a live-in relationship.
Now, she’s apparently decided that your business problems have made the situation problematic.
On the practical level, her sons contribute financially, while you don’t or can’t.
But being loved so openly and wholeheartedly as you feel about her is hard to give up. There may be hope. Focus on what’s needed to settle your “legal matters.”
Continue gentle email contact and let her know, occasionally, that you miss her. Also, that you’re settling your own issues as quickly as you can.
After that, well, if you don’t get any signs of renewed interest after a couple more months, she’s apparently decided that 10 years of being adored at a distance is enough talk with no mutual satisfaction.
Feedback regarding the woman whose husband’s ex-wife has forbidden any contact between his children and her (January 19): Reader: “To the worried new wife: Run! My 16-year relationship started out the same way, though he’d already been divorced for five years.
“His ex-wife had broken up his every relationship before me (I didn’t know this, then).
“When I came along, their daughter was forced by the courts to visit or stay at our home, but I wasn’t allowed to attend any functions or even give gifts.
“The child is now 23. The relationship was, and is still, uncomfortable between her, me, and my daughter.
“It was drilled into his child when very young that I’m the reason her parents aren’t together.
“Why did I stay? He’d immediately moved in with me and my kids very early in the relationship and I felt really sorry to tell him to leave.
“Also, he treats me very lovingly and was very kind to my kids. “But my children and I paid a price. So no, it’s not worth it. I should’ve stayed single.”
Ellie: A sad, cautionary tale of the harm caused by vindictiveness and fear.
Q. She’s been my best friend since third grade. We just turned 60.
We stayed close over 40-plus years. I held all of her newborn babies and she saw me through two marriages and my child’s birth.
Last year, she said her oldest child’s wedding would be small and we wouldn’t be invited.
Her son was getting married soon after and I was informed, apologetically, that we again wouldn’t be invited as space was limited and they had a small invitation list.
A. Respond with grace and understanding.
She’s uncomfortable but is counting on your long friendship.
Wish her well. Say you’d love to later hear all about the weddings.